With its lively markets and landscapes straight out of motion pictures, Morocco is a magical place in children’s eyes. The compact size of the country and friendly people make traveling with kids enjoyable and rewarding. Though children might tire of typical adult pursuits in Morocco—watching Mom and Dad haggle over carpet prices can’t be too exciting—the fascinating sights and sounds of everyday life makes wanderings both educational and entertaining. Like other countries in the region, Morocco is a very child-friendly culture, and you will likely find hotel and restaurant staff doting on yours.
Consider limiting the scope of travel to one region of the country to avoid long car trips; those endless landscapes that look romantic to adults could seem just, well, endless, to kids in the back seat. The bustle of imperial cities like Marrakech and Fez is anything but boring, and all children will likely find the dunes and camels of the Sahara fascinating. And the easy lifestyle of beach towns on the Atlantic helps families combine downtime in the sun with exposure to a new culture. Destinations particularly popular with families are Essaouira, Agadir, Marrakech and the stretches of the Great Oasis Valleys or High Atlas Mountains that let kids run around in the great outdoors. Older children and teenagers can participate in easy treks and even camping under the stars in the desert.
Some riads seem tailor-made for romantic honeymooners, but plenty are perfect locations for families traveling together. The contained nature of these hotels makes it easy to get separate, but close, rooms, and perks like courtyard pools and family-style dining give riad stays the relaxing, safe feel of staying with a welcoming family.
Moroccan food, with its stew-like tagines, is likely appealing to most children. Before your departure, try out a few recipes or visit a Moroccan restaurant so kids can get familiar with the new types of food. Explain what you might see in a market and point out that, just like in stores in your hometown, they shouldn’t touch merchandise. To get teenagers excited for the trip, consider screening some of the many Hollywood movies filmed in Morocco, such as Lawrence of Arabia.
Though Morocco is relatively safe, its climate and crowded cities can pose some health risks for kids. With very small children, consider child leashes or other safety precautions when navigating busy streets. Remember—these dizzying labyrinths can be disorienting to adults as well! Keep an eagle eye on older children, as the temptation to do a little independent exploring down mysterious corridors might be irresistible.
As kids are more susceptible to illness, make sure to check with a pediatrician about the necessity of hepatitis and malaria vaccines for the region of your travel. Remember that children tend to be affected more quickly by intense sun and very high or low temperatures. Take regular breaks to remind everyone to reapply sunscreen, consider wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses for daytime jaunts and make sure to always have potable water in tow. Lastly, remember that kids, despite their obvious energy, will tire quickly. Schedule low-key indoor time, especially during hot parts of the day, to avoid a kiddie meltdown in the middle of a marketplace. With the right amount of rest, kids will be able to appreciate the magic of a colorful, friendly culture different from their own.
Written by Brinda Gupta.
Photo by Rui Ornelas.
[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Related Tours with Journey Beyond Travel”]
Morocco Eco Tour in Sahara Desert – A journey into the lesser-visited regions of Morocco’s Sahara Desert.
Eclectic Morocco – A 10-day cultural adventure that hits the highlights of the country including the Sahara Desert.